In today’s construction news, we will look into the most dangerous aspects of engineering and construction. Meanwhile, March saw a slowdown in new construction, with permits falling by 8.8%. Additionally, the construction of the United States’ $1.2 billion embassy in Hanoi has begun. On the other hand, a United States contractor has won a contract for $70.5 million to build a hangar for the B-21 bomber. On top of that, the development of O-I Glass’s first MAGMA-powered factory in the United States has begun.

Top construction and engineering hazards

Original Source: Here are the top risks for the construction and engineering sector

According to Allianz, business interruption/supply chain disruption, natural disasters, and the energy crisis are the biggest risks for the construction and engineering industry.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) Global Industry Solutions Construction Outlook, one of numerous sector-specific risk trend briefings, provided the information.

“Companies risk larger values,” said AGCS global industry solutions director for construction Bianca Berruguete. Energy and material prices are driving up construction expenses. Replacement is costlier and slower. Logistics, shipping, and supply chain bottlenecks can make materials unavailable. Hence, COVID-19 is anticipated to increase property damage and business interruption losses.

“The construction industry is facing many challenges such as the prospect of recession, the shortage and rising cost of energy, key equipment and materials given recent high inflation, a spike in procurement costs, ongoing shortage of skilled labor, longer lead times, schedules, and cost overruns, compromised supply chains, ever-changing workplace protocols, and increased competition,” she said.

Energy crisis

Construction is energy-intensive, thus the energy crisis has raised expenses, the research concluded. The crisis may drive the sector’s green transition and adoption of more sustainable practices.

The effort to net zero will boost construction industry growth, but new technologies and cleaner practices may provide new risk scenarios like failures and recurrent loss scenarios or unanticipated safety or environmental impacts, AGCS stated.

“Sustainable energy and modern building approaches will overhaul the risk landscape, with drastic changes in design, materials, and construction processes,” Berruguete added. “To meet carbon reduction targets, rapid adoption will likely be required, implying strong cooperation between insurers, brokers, and clients to share data and experiences to assist underwrite potential risks.”

Disasters and fires

An AGCS review of 22,000 insurance claims over five years found that fire and natural disasters cause most construction and engineering losses.

Fire causes 275 percent of losses. Natural disasters caused 19% of claims by value.

The survey revealed that construction sites should consider extreme occurrences including wildfires, flash floods, and landslides in risk assessments.

AGCS stated climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of these events, raising property damage and business interruption expenses.

March Permits Down 8.8%

Original Source: New Construction Softens in March With Permits Down 8.8%

After a robust February, the monthly number fell short.

After a solid February, building permits dropped 8.8% and housing starts dropped marginally in March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced on Tuesday.

Permits fell to 1.413 million from 1.55 million in February, while housing starts rose to 1.42 million from 1.432 million.

Builders have taken advantage of a scarcity of existing homes to develop new ones, boosting the housing market. February was warmer than average in numerous areas.

Kelly Mangold of RCLCO Real Estate Consultants suggested that March’s economic instability and bank failures may have scared purchasers. “As spring is usually popular for sales, builders may still aim to raise their inventory in the coming months to perhaps grab purchasers who may have been sidelined during the past year but are looking to finally enter the market.”

The National Association of Home Builders said Monday that builder confidence rose 1 point to 45 in April, still modest.

“For the fourth straight month, builder confidence has grown due to a scarcity of resale inventory despite elevated interest rates,” said Birmingham, Alabama custom house builder and developer NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey. Builders say mortgage rates below 6% will cause more housing demand. The sector still struggles with building material shortages, notably electrical transformer equipment.

Several homeowners are waiting on mortgages from the coronavirus outbreak, when mortgage rates were approaching 3%. Knowing it will cost more to finance a new home makes homeowners reluctant to sell.

Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at title insurer First American, said the shortage of existing-home inventory is a factor in increasing builder sentiment. Buyers may turn to new homes due to a shortage of existing homes. Three months of stronger home builder confidence may signal a turning point for single-family homebuilding, but builders still confront increasing construction costs and an affordability-constrained housing market.”

According to Staying Current Matters’ head economist George Ratiu, new homes can be expensive.

Ratiu said new residential buildings show a housing market adjusting to increasing borrowing rates, shifting construction costs, and sustained monetary tightening. In March, construction activity fell, while single-family homes gained ground.

US team builds $1.2bn Hanoi embassy

Original Source: US team starts building $1.2bn Hanoi embassy

The US State Department started building a Vietnam embassy.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, ambassador Marc Knapper, and Vietnamese foreign minister Bui Thanh Son attended the Hanoi ceremony.

BL Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama, is building the $1.2bn project designed by Washington, DC architect Page.

Harbert worked on Guatemala, Mexico, Niger, and Turkey embassies and consulates.

The 3.2ha New Embassy Complex (NEC) will move US diplomats from central Hanoi to a boulevard near Cau Giay Park in the northwest.

Page subsidiary EYP designed the masterplan and engineering. The embassy’s main office building, marine security guard quarters, parking, and plant room needed to be organized.

EYP describes these buildings as a “great civic canopy” along the boulevard with an elevated gallery and outdoor terraces along the park.

“An open, engaging architecture embodying America’s diplomatic engagement with Vietnam — a glimpse into what’s possible as the two countries continue to build political, economic, and social ties,” the company said of the NEC.

The State Government says the NEC “embraces the modern urban scene and natural beauty of Hanoi and includes the latest in sustainable design characteristics”.

These terraces, inspired by Vietnam’s rice paddies, combine sustainable materials with high recycled content, low embodied carbon, and low volatile organic compounds to minimize the country’s heavy rains.

American contractor receives $70.5 million B-21 hangar contract

Original Source: US contractor wins $70.5 million deal to build B-21 bomber hangar

US construction contractor Conti Federal Services got a $70.5 million contract to build a new B-21 radio frequency hangar at a South Dakota Air Force installation.

A 64,500-square-foot single-bay hangar, airfield apron, utilities, and B-21 radio frequency testing infrastructure will be developed at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

All back shop, administrative, and facility support spaces are included in the project.

This is the seventh Ellsworth B-21 beddown station to be built by the USACE Omaha District.

A secure area meeting Intelligence Community Directive/Intelligence Community Standard 705 (ICD/ICS 705) will be built for this project.

2025 is the completion date.

Northrop Grumman is developing a long-range strike bomber, the B-21 Raider. By 2040, the US Air Force will employ it to replace the Rockwell B-1 Lancer and Northrop Grumann B-2 Sprit.

In 2023, the B-21 will fly for the first time.

“This contract is a huge win for the Conti Federal team, as this will be our first project at Ellsworth Air Force Base,” said Ryan Kanzleiter, Conti Federal’s program director. It’s a terrific chance to build relationships with local partners and the USACE Omaha District.

We’re delighted to start work on the RF Hangar and use our Rapid City staff. Conti Federal will be well-positioned for future Ellsworth Air Force Base and USACE Omaha Area of Responsibility projects after this project.

At F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Conti Federal is building a helicopter facility, and at Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin, an F-35 Fighter Alert Shelter.

O-I Glass builds its first American MAGMA facility

Original Source: O-I Glass begins construction of its first MAGMA-powered facility in US

The $240m facility will support MAGMA technology development and local market service.

O-I Glass is building an innovative greenfield glass plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The new plant is O-I Glass’ first purpose-built MAGMA facility.

The innovative method produces flexible, modular glass while reducing environmental impact.

The MAGMA-powered plant has a smaller melter and more ecological architecture.

The technique will enable ultra-lightweighting and on-off capabilities.

Feed-forward and feed-back control loops will promote high-quality glass.

The $240m plant will develop MAGMA technology and serve customers and the local market when it opens in 2024.

O-I Glass CEO Andres Lopez said: “O-proprietary I’s MAGMA glass-making technology, and the new plant here in Bowling Green constructed around this technology, will continue our path to revolutionize the future of glass container production.

“This facility will demonstrate our next-generation capabilities, from a new modular batch system, the MAGMA melter, and new forming equipment to sustainability and the factory’s look and feel.

This state-of-the-art facility in Bowling Green, near the Bourbon Trail, will demonstrate the value of near-location and be a hub for future customer collaboration. Our investors, customers, and other stakeholders can explore and collaborate there.”

O-I CEO Andres Lopez, Kentucky lieutenant governor Jacqueline Coleman, and others attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed that Allianz identifies natural disasters, the energy crisis, and business interruption/supply chain disruption as the top three threats to the construction and engineering sectors.

Meanwhile, after a robust February, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported on Tuesday that building permits fell 8.8 percent in March and home starts fell slightly from the previous month. Furthermore, the United States Embassy in Vietnam has begun construction.

In addition, at an Air Force base in South Dakota, the United States construction firm Conti Federal Services was awarded a $70.5 million contract to construct a new B-21 radio frequency hangar. Ellsworth Air Force Base will have new facilities built for B-21 radio frequency testing, including a 64,500 square foot single-bay hangar, an airport apron, utilities, and more.

Over and above that, the $240 million building will help MAGMA expand into new markets and advance existing ones. In Bowling Green, Kentucky, O-I Glass is constructing a state-of-the-art “greenfield” glass facility.